Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2021 , Vol 67 , Num 2

Self-care practices, patient education in women with breast cancer-related lymphedema

Zeynep Deveci 1 ,Özgül Karayurt 2 ,Sibel Eyigör 3
1 Department of Nursing, Pamukkale University, Faculty of Health Science, Denizli, Turkey
2 Department of Nursing, Izmir University of Economics, Faculty of Health Science, Izmir, Turkey
3 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ege University Faculty of Medicine, Izmir, Turkey
DOI : 10.5606/tftrd.2021.5022 Objectives: This study aims to evaluate self-care practices, sociodemographic and clinical factors that affect self-care and patient education among women with breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL).

Patients and methods: This descriptive, cross-sectional study included a total of 102 women with BCRL (median age: 59 years; range, 35 to 80 years) who received lymphedema (LE) treatment at least once between July 2014 and May 2016. A Sociodemographic and Clinical Characteristics Form and the Lymphedema Self-care Survey were used to collect data via face-to-face interviews.

Results: The median LE self-care practices score for women was 10 (range, 5 to 14). A total of 39.1% of the women implemented regular self-care. A statistically significant relationship was found between the score for perceived benefit of LE self-care and the score for self-care practice. No statistically significant difference was found among the self-care scores of the women with LE in terms of sociodemographic and clinical factors, except for education status. A total of 90.2% of the women with LE received self-care education, mostly from a physical therapy specialist and a physiotherapist. There was a statistically significant difference among self-care scores between patients who were educated and uneducated about LE.

Conclusion: It is recommended that healthcare professionals should educate patients diagnosed with breast cancer to reduce LE risk and promote the implementation of self-care practices following the breast cancer surgery. Interventions should be made to increase the perceived benefits and reduce the perceived barriers and burden towards self-care behaviors to prevent and manage LE. Keywords : Breast cancer, education of patient lymphedema, self-care